Conor Chaplin admits he is not happy with his goal tally so far this season but is pleased that he is still helping in-form Barnsley with his performances.
The 23-year-old forward netted 13 goals last season, 11 in the Championship, after moving from Coventry City.
This season, he has scored two in 19 games – in the wins against QPR and Derby County – while he has four in his last 36. He was used as an out-and-out striker under Gerhard Struber but has been playing on the left or right of a front three since the arrival of new head coach Valerien Ismael. He has created regular chances for his team-mates recently, including the impressive assist for Dominik Frieser’s winner at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
He is just outside the league’s top ten for ‘key passes’.
Chaplin told the Chronicle: “Last season I was up front as a two and I was getting forward a lot. I would like more opportunities in front of goal and more goals will come with that. It’s something I will be looking to improve because I am not happy with it at the moment.
“But I like the way I am playing, I feel as if I am making a lot of chances for my team-mates. I just look at seasons in terms of improving my stats every time. So far I have usually done that in my career, bar a couple.
“You should take pride in that as a professional.
“I would like to score more goals but I am not thinking about it too much. As long as am I playing well and the team is doing well, it doesn’t matter who scores.”
Chaplin is looking forward to seeing fans back in grounds, with Barnsley waiting until South Yorkshire is upgraded from tier three to allow supporters into Oakwell. He told the Chronicle: “I can’t wait. It’s something I am quite passionate about. It’s a whole different feeling playing in front of fans, compared to empty stadiums. We’re expecting to play in front of fans at Norwich (on January 2) then we want them back at Oakwell as soon possible. But we have to be patient until it is allowed. It feels like it’s been so long, so any game in front of any fans will be a bonus and all the lads can’t wait for it.”
Chaplin hopes the return of fans does not mean more incidents like the booing of players taking the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign at Millwall, Colchester and Cambridge. In their next game, Millwall and QPR players held up an anti-racism banner and were applauded.
Barnsley head coach Valerien Ismael said he was shocked and disappointed by the booing. Chaplin said: “I just echo what the gaffer said. It’s sickening and shocking. There is absolutely no place for it at all. The reaction in the next game was good and the clubs echoed the feeling of everyone. Fingers crossed that everyone is on the same page and now and those fans who are doing that are either not allowed back in or have realised they can’t do it.”